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Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl arranged on a ceramic plate

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl

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Udon noodles, rare beef slices, loads of veggies and an Asian dressing make for an out of this world Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl!

When you have leftover roast or grilled beef, add these fabulous Asian noodle bowls to your menu. The bold flavors, crisp vegetables and light dressing create a memorable meal!

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl on a large white platter

This post was originally shared in 2011. Some new text was added to offer some tips for making these noodle bowls along with new photos.

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl

We had lots of perfectly grilled beef tenderloin leftover from my dad’s birthday celebration. When discussing what we wanted to whip up for dinner, my sister, Mary, immediately suggested a Vietnamese noodle bowl. With all the decadent party food we’d consumed the night before, this sounded incredibly refreshing. We were not disappointed!

This would be fabulous with chicken or shrimp plus the veggies can be swapped for any of your favorites. I wish I could cook dinner with my sisters every night!

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl in a blue and white dish

Tips for Making Asian Noodle Bowls

My friend, Susan, shared 15 Noodle Bowls You Can’t Live Without. That alone opened my eyes to the wide variety of recipes available for noodle bowls. I think the only requirement is “noodles,”  but nowadays, noodles can be zoodles or zucchini or other spiralized vegetable noodles. The options are endless.

When I remade this recipe for Bill back home, you can imagine his response when I said Vietnamese Noodle Salad was for dinner.  He’s more of a meat and potatoes guy.

I dissuaded him from heating up the noodles, but he did zap his beef in the microwave. He ate the noodles and beef (with ketchup!) separately, but was a fan of them both. Whew. He’s come a long way!

  • Since these are noodle bowls, let’s start with the obvious ingredient, noodles. I used Udon noodles, which are Japanese wheat noodles, but even spaghetti would work. Following a gluten free diet? Use an alternative pasta or spiralized vegetable instead of wheat based noodles. You can even use a package of Ramen noodles, just ditch the seasoning packet.
  • The vegetables can be tweaked as well. I’ve chosen romaine, a sturdy lettuce, red bell peppers, cucumbers and carrots for a colorful array of produce.
  • Rare beef slices always please my crew, but other protein sources would also be delicious. Tofu for a plant based option or chicken, shrimp or even eggs would be delicious!
  • Roasted peanuts were called for in the original recipe, but I had whole cashews in my pantry and they offered a delicious crunch.
  • The dressing gives these noodle bowls their Vietnamese flair. There is no oil in the dressing, but the noodles are tossed in garlic oil, so when the “dressing” and the noodles are combined, a magical mixture coats all the components.
  • A simple combination of fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and red pepper flakes gives an enormous boost of flavor to this dish.

What is Fish Sauce?

If you haven’t used fish sauce before, take note. The stuff has a pretty potent aroma, but provides an amazing flavor. Bon Appetit describes it as sweet, salty, fishy and funky! It’s a condiment made of fish coated in salt and then fermented. It’s a staple in many Asian cuisines, like Vietnamese and Thai. Pick up a bottle and give it a try!

More Asian Inspired Recipes You’ll Love

I’m always turning to Asian marinades for salmon and beef. So delicious! I’ve also been eyeing this Chinese Asian Pork Meatballs, this Chinese Chicken Salad and this Sesame Ginger Grilled Chicken! If you have a picky family or a husband that doesn’t think entree salads or noodle bowls are dinner material, make this Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl for a ladies gathering or a small batch for your lunches. I’m not going to wait 7+ years to make this winner again!

Half of a Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl on a white platter



Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl with a bamboo fork

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl

Udon noodles, rare beef slices, loads of veggies and an Asian dressing make for an out of this world Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • 8 ounces Udon noodles
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
  • 2 cloves sliced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces Beef tenderloin, seared and sliced thin (I think grilled flank steak would be delicious, too)
  • Dry roasted peanuts
  • Carrots, peeled and julienned
  • Red bell pepper, julienned
  • English cucumber, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced in thin slices
  • Head of Romaine lettuce, sliced
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade (roll basil leaves tightly like a cigar, then slice thinly)
  • Fresh cilantro, stems removed


  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain. Heat oil in large frying pan or wok. Add garlic and sauté till fragrant, being careful not to brown. Add noodles and toss till well coated with oil. Place noodles in large serving bowl.
  2. Make dressing by combining fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Add up to 1/2 cup of water to dilute dressing to taste. Set aside.
  3. Arrange vegetables and beef around perimeter of bowl. Garnish with basil, cilantro and peanuts. Drizzle with dressing.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 537Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 1531mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 30g


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My mom laughing

Our sweet mom is in a memory unit…but she joined us for this dinner.  She was so happy and animated…a wonderful visit!

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29 comments on “Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl”

  1. Lizzy, I’m glad you had such a good visit with your family. And cooking with your sisters sounds like so much fun! Stay safe and warm!

  2. Lizzy…your Mom looks so happy. That was so nice and probably lots of fun cooking with your sisters and visiting.
    Hope your storm doesn’t come our way tomorow but stay safe and warm!

  3. Beautiful photos, beautiful mom, beautiful daughter! This one is on the list…..thanks!

  4. Looks delicious and I love the vibrant colors!

  5. Wow Mom looks awesome, so lucky to have such a young mom! Love this dish, looks vibrant and healthy… great job… you have great genes!!!!!

  6. Thanks, Claudia 🙂

  7. Thanks, my friends!!!

  8. Lizzy this looks great. What a clever way to use up leftovers, reinvented into a delicious second incarnation. Loved seeing your mom too!

  9. Looks great Liz…as does your Mom…
    Glad you had such a good time!

  10. Now I see where you get your beautiful looks – your mom looks amazing!!

  11. Thanks, everyone…I wish we could get together more often 🙂

  12. Thanks, Sandra! What a lovely thing to say 🙂

  13. Thank you, Kristi…I wish I would have brought some leftovers home with me!!!

  14. Yummy! Vietnamese food is one of my favorites and I love all the fresh ingredients.

  15. I love the flavors in this, its unique to me and I would love a taste of this right now looks great

  16. Great recipe Liz and info on creating these noodle bowls. They are so tasty and nutritious we should all make them more often.

  17. Nice you were able to share this lovely meal with your mom. I love this gorgeous, colorful noodle bowl recipe – a must try! Thanks Liz 😉

  18. You know I adore Vietnamese food. It is my very favorite ethnic food. Luckily my hubby would happily eat this for dinner. And Liz…I just wanted to say thanks for always commenting and taking the time, My life has been quite overwhelming lately and it is much appreciated. Hugs! I will try to do better. 🙂

  19. Your mom has such a beautiful smile, Liz! So genuine.

    My mouth is absolutely watering looking at the photos of this noodle bowl. We love meals like this, so this one is going straight on to next week’s menu!

  20. Light yet full of flavours! Those beef slices are so perfectly tender and juicy.

  21. Noodle bowls are good. And what a terrific way to use leftover roast beef! Excellent recipe and truly worthy of an encore. Thanks!

  22. Your mom is a sweetie! Love this photo of her. Also in love with this simple Vietnamese bowl. Clean eating is so easy with Asian recipe. LOVE!

  23. This is exactly the type of recipe that excites me! In fact, we had something similar for lunch, sans noodles, but I love the idea of zoodles! We’ve decided to try keto for many reasons. Can’t wait to turn this into a keto version, we will have sirloin roast leftovers next week. Thanks Liz, this is lovely! 

  24. This Vietnamese beef noodle bowl looks delicious. That is a nice picture of your mom.

  25. Your comment “He ate the noodles and beef (with ketchup!) separately, but was a fan of them both. Whew. He’s come a long way!” really had me giggling. While my husband loves most dishes, he always makes a face when I mention having a big salad for dinner. 🙂 Your salad looks terrific and I know my husband would enjoy it as much as I would. 

  26. I love a good noodle bowl and this looks so flavorful and delicious!!

  27. Unfortunately I do not have any leftover beef tenderloin handing around my fridge but that problem can be handled quite easily. The idea of this bowl is appealing to me whether it’s for a ladies luncheon, light dinner for friends or, most importantly, a nutritious lunch or dinner for me. As always I appreciate all the tips and advice you are providing in your blog posts. I know that takes time but it is most helpful so thank you. Since you mentioned your Dad and have that nice photo of your Mom on this post, I’ve been thinking of our morning at the Bells…..right now it’s cold and there’s snow on those gorgeous mountains. Hooray.

  28. Lovely. And way easier than making pho from scratch! The peanuts are such a wonderful touch.

  29. With the onslaught of sweet and savory dishes that are coming this is a great balanced meal. My hubby would have the beef rare and I would zap it in the microwave also. No ketchup though!

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